The National Wellness Institute.


The National Wellness Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to provide health and well-being professionals with special resources and services that encourage professional and personal growth”.

Through membership, they offer training and certification for healthcare professionals.

However, due to a difficulty in keeping up with technological changes, there has been an exponential drop in the number of members.


UX Researcher, Content Strategist, Visual Designer, Interaction Designer.


Two weeks.


Develop a digital wellness product that reflect an innovative image, an updated approach to the wellness theme.


  • Build the best three-member Design Team for a two-week sprint.
  • Divide up the work during the implementation phase.
  • Prototype an app for Android OS being a iOS heavy user. 


Gathering existed data on wellness is not that hard.

The Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit organization as well, is a rich place to discover trends such as the Global Wellness Economy Monitor and Defining the Mental Wellness Economy graphs.

Graph: Global Wellness Economy: $4.2 trillion in 2017
Graph: Global Mental Wellness Industry: $120.8 billion in 2019

In order to better frame a problem to be solved, it was necessary to focus on a scenario in which mental well-being is fundamental: the work environment.

Surveys & Interviews

Through a quick survey, the following bar charts stood out:

Chart: Importance of mental wellness activities in the workplace = 66.1% answered 5-Too Much
Chart: How much mental health affects your productivity = 80.6% answered 5-Too Much
Chart: What causes the greatest mental imbalance in the workplace= 69% answered Pressure, 50% answered Communication, 45% answered Time
Chart: Rate how much the company you work for is dedicated to the mental wellness of its employees = 24% answered 7, 18% answered 5 and 8, 11% answered 4

Besides the quantitative research, a qualitative research was carried  as well to understand motivations, needs and frustrations.

As a result, five employees from different companies were interviewed – three women and two men – and two psychologists – career and human resources specialists.


Since feelings are complex to express themselves in data, requiring condensation, an embodiment of the research was created:


Martha's picture: blond woman in her forties

“If we think that we have the right to take breaks to relax our minds, we will be much more productive and be able to get along better with other people”.

Using Martha as a persona allowed us to prioritize insights and characteristics of a real user, through her:

  • Improve emotional intelligence.
  • Reading habits.
  • Learning new things.
  • Creating and maintaining mental wellness.
  • Time and productivity management.
  • Heathy routine habits.
  • Pressure, discomfort and feeling of being watched.
  • Stress and lack of disposition in the work environment.
  • Lack of communication between leaders and subordinates.

Martha’s Journey

Martha’s Problem Statement

How to help Martha (user) to reduce the effects of routine work on her mental health (problem) once she feels pressure, discomfort, stress and lack of disposition (insights)?


A Clown?

By using the Worst Possible Idea method, a healthy competition of stupid and crazy ideas was created around the problem.

And the worst winning idea was:

A clown passes by your work space or and screams: “Time for a break!” and asks: “Do you wanna breathe or talk?

Which was transmuted into:

An app in which the user schedules 5 to 15 minutes breaks to practice breathing, peer to peer dialogs or mentorship, office stretches and exercises.

User Flow

After considering possible app use cases in a a workplace (scenario), it was time to design all possible paths:

User Flow: planning possible paths

Red Routes

When applying the Red Routes concept to a project, the critical and frequent paths that users follow to complete the tasks are identified and prioritized.

Red Routes Graph


Smart Break’s Inception

Smart Break Logo - Hourglass Icon

Following the User Flow as planned, a Low-Fidelity prototype was born:

Low Fidelity prototype.

After a Desirability Tests, the prototype evolved from Mid-Fidelity to Hi-Fidelity level:

After that, a Usability Test was created using Useberry to check the path out and improve the Hi-Fi prototype.

The result was at follows:

For more details you may test the high-fidelity prototype on Figma.


  • Miro.
  • Figma.
  • Useberry.
  • Zeplin.
  • Zeroheight.


  • Proposing a heathy routine to improve mental wellness is easier than following it.
  • Interviewing professionals who have expertise in career and human resources.
  • The importance of conducting usability tests to improve UI.


  • Design an app onboarding with an integrated tutorial.
  • Work out the peer to peer dialogs option/path, linking mentors and organizational psychologists.
  • Enrich the Learning Path with topics for dialogue and office stretches.
  • Iterate the sharing break feature, testing the QR Code scanning.
  • Conduct new usability tests.
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